Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al meeting in formula Arria in Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking in the Caribbean Region as a Threat to International Stability” —
We welcome this debate and we thank the briefers for their interventions.
Today’s presentations as well as the statements delivered just yesterday by the representatives of IMPACS and some Caribbean Countries during the HL Debate of the GA on the role of regional organizations confirm that the Caribbean region is vulnerable to organized criminal groups and susceptible to external shocks.
In their reports, both Caribbean Countries and international organizations underline the dramatic increases in gun violence and the impact of criminal activities on the economic and social stability of the entire region.
The geographic location between key supply and demand markets and the porosity of physical borders contribute to this phenomenon. We are all aware how much trans-ocean trafficking in drugs and illegal items affects destinations countries in Europe.
At the same time, we cannot underestimate the impact of social inequalities, lack of opportunities and all forms of obstacles to socio-economic development.
In this country, current figures on crime demonstrate that neither capital punishment nor harsher sentencing can “per se” reduce the number and seriousness of these crimes.
All indicators point instead to the importance of coordinating efforts to reduce social inequalities, support sustainable development and implement fair, transparent and effective justice systems. The recent Rome conference held in preparation of the review of Goal 16 under HLPF has reinforced our conviction that investing in transparent institutions that tackle unlawfulness, all forms of trafficking, corruption, money laundering and related criminal activities is the most crucial long-term response.
Italy, with its long-standing relations with Caribbean Countries and their regional organizations, has taken precisely this path. We are supporting sustainable development initiatives and, at the same time, providing training and assistance to law enforcement and financial experts.
I will mention only three examples of this cooperation:
Over the last years, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has created the figure of “Special Envoy for the Caribbean Countries”, mandated to focus on bilateral relations with Caribbean Countries and pay regular visits to the region. The next visit will take place at the end of this month, and will involve 6 Countries, both regional organizations and the Development Bank for the Caribbean.
In 2015, Italy concluded a Memorandum of Cooperation with 11 Caribbean Countries, focusing on climate change, vulnerability risk mitigation, resilience and adaptation; in this framework, 11.5 million dollars have already been delivered to support 27 initiatives.
Lastly, the training dimension: today marks the final day of the 5th edition of the “Capacity-building course organized by the Italian Guardia di Finanza for officers of CARICOM Member States, Cuba and the Dominican Republic on Economic and Financial Police Investigations and Intelligence”. Each edition has seen the participation of 30 officers from the Caribbean Countries and the twoweeks spent at this School provides the participants with the opportunity to enhance their skills in detecting and investigating illicit financial flows from any source.
Rest assured, in concluding Mr. President, that Italy will continue to develop cooperative relations with the Caribbean Region, both through bilateral agreements and through support for initiatives launched by UN bodies, including crime prevention and criminal justice programmes managed by UNODC.
I thank you.